Ben had a very successful medical career, surviving two strokes and proving that anything is possible if you persevere.
As a result of this second stroke Ben cannot speak or swallow, feeding through a tube and he is weak on his left side. However, he has not lost his mental ability and sense of humor and he´s still active on his computer exchanging emails. Communication was a very important function previously in his life as a University Lecturer and a Consultant Pathologist.
”Fortunately after my second stroke there was a sophisticated communication aid available.”
When I was introduced to the Lightwriter it was a real bonus because I was relying on my laptop computer and pen and paper to communicate which was very difficult. Being a doctor my writing was difficult to read! When I first had the Lightwriter it was very difficult to use because the dictionary was not yet populated with my own words and phrases. I am not a good speller and I am not a typist! Also, I have problems with grammar due to my first stroke.
After the first week the machine had built up a useful dictionary and was predicting the words I used and later on the Lightwriter was able to predict the common phrases I used. After this I explored the other functions of the machine and its capabilities, the voice it used, the volume, speech exceptions, the favorite words and names, viewer lines for the hearer. In addition, the storing of phrases, sentences and keywords; which is very useful if you are meeting someone. You can prepare yourself with sentences which can be said by the Lightwriter using keywords which are very fast and also prevents any typing and spelling mistakes.
It also has a textphone which is like a mobile phone which you can send and receive text messages, giving you a wider horizons. If you send a text message to a landline the phone company will convert the printed word into a computerized voice. In our house if I am on my own the answer phone is switched on and if I have to answer the phone I use the Lightwriter by holding it adjacent to our hands-free phone to communicate with the caller.”